You will never forget your first cruise — the anticipation, the trepidation, the excitement. Today, cruising offers an ultimate getaway packed with adventure, relaxation, luxury, and dining that is simply out of this world.
The best part of cruising today is that there are options for everyone — the perfect cruise vacation is out there for you, your family, or your loved one. However, if this is your first cruise, you don’t want to be too hasty. Before you buy tickets, there are several things every novice cruiser should know.
This article offers tips aimed at helping you get the best experience on your first cruise.
Pick a Cruise That Suits You
Every cruise line and ship is unique in its own way. Each has its own personality and is targeted at a particular demographic.
This means that cruising isn’t just about traveling from port A to port B. Every cruise ship seeks to create a distinct atmosphere that you can’t get anywhere else. Viking Ocean Cruises, for instance, are known for their art and history. Carnival ships, on the other hand, are predominantly family-oriented, while few cruises can match the party scene aboard Norwegian ships.
With a little bit of research, you have an opportunity to pick a cruise that will give you maximum fun and adventure based on your personality and preferences.
You are also not confined to popular destinations like the Mediterranean, Caribbean, or Alaska. Some ships specialize in offering highly personalized sailing to exotic and remote cruise destinations all over the world.
Choose the Right Cabin
Cruise ships are like large floating cities with limitless fun activities, never-ending culinary delights, and non-stop entertainment.
In addition to the sprawling lobbies and spacious pool decks, most ships also have distinctively unique areas designed to vary your experiences onboard. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis, for instance, offers seven “neighborhoods” and exclusive cabins that overlook park-like atriums.
Much like Royal Caribbean, virtually all other cruise lines offer a wide array of cabins to choose from. There are interior cabins that have no view, as well as exterior cabins with ocean views through windows, portholes, and even private balconies. You can also choose a suite — a larger cabin that comes with separate living and sleeping areas.
When planning your cruise, take time to properly survey the deck plan. Pick a cabin that suits both your budget and personality. If you are a light sleeper, for instance, stay away from cabins that are near the engine room or noisy places like nightclubs. If you are likely to get seasick, go for midship cabins — you’ll feel minimal movement there.
Pre-book Your Adventures
Some of the most popular shore excursions have limited space, and they fill up quite fast.
A cooking class with a celebrity chef, for example, might sell out as soon as it opens. The same goes for popular onboard shows, spa treatments, and even tables at specialty restaurants. However, when you book in advance, you are assured of a spot.
Choose clothes that are washable and quick-drying. Your ship will most likely provide free self-service, as well as fee-based laundering. Fee-based laundering services may be charged per item or per laundry bag.
Even though your cruise ship might have a formal night where every vacationer is called upon to put on the glitz, you don’t necessarily have to break out your tux. A man will get by just fine in a jacket and tie, while a dressy pantsuit or cocktail dress is sufficient for a lady.
There is one thing that you must pack though: a dual-voltage extension cord. While your cabin may have one or more electrical outlets, there’s no guarantee all of them will be accessible.
Regardless of the ship or cruise destination, a wise cruiser always has reliable travel insurance. This will cover you in case of injury, illness, accidents, loss of luggage, or delays during your cruise. If you are injured in transit, you should hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in maritime law to help you process your claim.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.